Saturday, March 14, 2015

Calamity and Powerlessness

It's going to be another hot and extremely dry day in Santa Monica. The third in a row. I'm writing this post because I just don't know what else to do. It's hot, and I'm sorry to say the climate news is all bad and growing worse by the day.

Today there was this piece on Slate: Baked Alaska - If the Last Frontier is the canary in the climate coal mine, we’re in trouble. Earlier in the week, there was this: Arctic temps to rise, starting in 2020: new research - Temperatures expected to rise 2ÂșC over 40 years in "unprecedented" rate of change

It appears that as a global society, as a species, we're headed straight off of a cliff. And yet no one talks about it, nothing changes. When was the last time you heard anyone mention food security as it is related to climate change? Everyone tries to pretend it's business as usual even though, in our hearts, we all know what's happening. The rising tensions and pandemic of violence around the world are merely symptomatic of the larger issue: that the global ecosystem which has sustained us for all of human history is collapsing. My heart is heavy and I can hardly think of anything else. 

What can be done? Not a great deal, I fear. Some, such as John Nissen, are calling for massive geo-engineering, particularly over the poles. Hard to know if this would help, but there would likely be unforeseen side effects that could be very bad. I feel powerless and very anxious. Even if carbon emissions were completely halted today, we still would have another ~40 years of climate change due to the so-called "climate lag." 

It's time to begin talking about how we're going survive this.

1 comment :

  1. This morning Al Jeezera has a piece mentioning a terrified 7 year old girl watching the waves begin to overtake her family's property on the Marshall Islands, the kind of story there's going to be a lot more of but likely will not stir US news coverage much until it involves Florida or Wall St., which at least can afford to put up a feasible retaining wall. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/5/18/disaster-after-disaster-in-low-lying-marshall-islands.html

    By the way, the John Nissen link has gone the way of foresight in contemporary political discourse.

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